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Poster: snow_and_rain Date: Aug 3, 2011 6:51am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What Do You Like About The 80's ?

"I find the music of Days Between is actually very similar to that of "Mountains of the Moon" in a good way, although the tempo is slower."

Care to elaborate on this? I see few, if any, similarities.

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Poster: bkidwell Date: Aug 3, 2011 7:00am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What Do You Like About The 80's ?

Sure. It's mostly about the slow pace of harmonic change, a heavy emphasis on G in the bass, a use of harpsichord-like sounds, and an attempt to create a "from out of ancient tales" feeling and mood.

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Poster: snow_and_rain Date: Aug 3, 2011 8:03am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What Do You Like About The 80's ?

Hmmm.. okay. I guess there may be some vague similarities, but to me they sound very different. Mntns has the feel and chord structure of an ancient dirge, with folky rhythms and a number of interesting jumps and changes that challenge the listener just enough without sounding forces. TC's organ is perfectly composed and prominent in the melody. It's a folky, psychadelic masterpiece from the deep, dark core of the Grateful Dead's primordial soup that offers just enough light and playfulness to keep the listener intrigued.

Contrast that with Days - which has all the dull predictability of a Bob Segar love song. No surprises. A dull melody with zero flair and zero payoff. Sure, Vince or Bralove or whoever might switch on the harpsichord effect, but I've never heard anything close to what TC does on Mntns. The lyrics may share some medieval references, but the melodies couldn't be more different. No texture. Nothing.

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Poster: bkidwell Date: Aug 3, 2011 8:37am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What Do You Like About The 80's ?

Well, probably nothing will change your mind about the song, and if you're not feeling it, you're not feeling it, but Phil liked Days Between, and he thought the music for the song expressed something well.

"Achingly nostalgic, 'Days Between' evokes the past. The music climbs laboriously out of shadows, growing and peaking with each verse, only to fall back each time in hopeless resignation. When Jerry sings [...] I am immediately transported decades back in time, to a beautiful spring morning with Jerry, Hunter, Barbara Meier, and Alan Trist - all of us goofing on the sheer exhilaration of being alive. I don't know whether to weep with joy at the beauty of the vision, or with sadness at the impassable chasm of time between the golden past and the often painful present."

(Searching For the Sound, p. 311-312)

This post was modified by bkidwell on 2011-08-03 15:37:44

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Poster: grendelschoice Date: Aug 3, 2011 8:47am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What Do You Like About The 80's ?

Getting back to the original question:

I don't think you can lump the decade all together. To me, the decade starts off great with 3 solid years from 1980-1982, marked by Brent's growing vocal and instrumental contributions, and some terrific overall band jamming with precision thrown in, as in this Scarlet>Fire from 1982:

http://www.archive.org/details/gd82-09-11.sbd.clugston.2192.sbeok.shnf

IMO, there is then an immense drop-off in quality, mostly due to Jerry's declining health/drug use, from roughly 1983-1988. Yes, there are exceptions, including the stunning shows in Augusta, Maine in October of 1984 (2nd set in this show is among the best ever played):

http://www.archive.org/details/gd84-10-12.sbd.clugston.5585.sbeok.shnf

, but it's pretty tough to listen to Jerry's creaky vocals and a whole lot of sloppy, choppy play in the middle 80's.

Then at the end of the decade, a grand resurgence can clearly be heard from 1989-1990, perhaps best exemplified by any of the shows at Alpine Valley, including this one w/a sublime Sugar Mag>Scarlet transition and an overall sense of renewed purpose and professionalism in the playing:

http://www.archive.org/details/gd89-07-18.sbd.9854.sbeok.shnf

Still, the 80's can't hold a candle to the 70's, and 1977 makes everything else look pale by comparison ;-)

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Poster: snow_and_rain Date: Aug 3, 2011 9:15am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What Do You Like About The 80's ?

"Laboriously" sounds about right to me. Presumably phil also likes Wave to the Wind, right?

Edit: I think Days gains lots of traction from the fact that nobody wants to dis Jerry's last big, tragic ballad -- least of all Phil, I would think. But, hey, what do I know? Lots of people are really into So Many Roads too, so I wouldn't pretend to understand what songs Deadheads like or why they like them.

This post was modified by snow_and_rain on 2011-08-03 16:15:20

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Poster: bkidwell Date: Aug 3, 2011 9:16am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What Do You Like About The 80's ?

I doubt Phil likes Wave to the Wind that much, since the band dropped it, and I don't think it's been played much (if at all) by any of the follow up bands?

I don't think you can judge someone's musical taste by the fact they wrote some failed songs. By that standard, who has good taste? Almost everyone has some weak songs.

Anyway, I'm sorry if I've been too argumentative about the value of the song, it's far from one of my favorites, anyway. It was LIA who mentioned it in the first place, I think "So Many Roads" and "Lazy River Road" are both better, even among the last Garcia songs. I wish Days Between had a shorter sung portion, and actually did a bigger and more open jam - that goes back to what I've been saying about how the GD would have done better to focus more on instrumental improv based on themes rather than elaborate arrangements, for their later material. Some people connect this to Robert Hunter writing too many words for his later songs.

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Poster: snow_and_rain Date: Aug 3, 2011 9:47am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What Do You Like About The 80's ?

"I wish Days Between had a shorter sung portion, and actually did a bigger and more open jam"

I basically agree, except I'd replace the "had a shorter sung portion, and actually did a bigger and more open jam" with "was dropped and they just played Stella Blue or Morning Dew instead."

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Poster: high flow Date: Aug 3, 2011 9:47am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What Do You Like About The 80's ?

Etta James.

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